National Fisherman

TAMPA, Fla. — The largest red-tide bloom seen in Florida in nearly a decade has killed thousands of fish in the Gulf of Mexico and might pose a greater health threat if it washes ashore as expected in the next two weeks, researchers said.

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It was a study that came out of the blue — a report of an admittedly “unscheduled” NOAA stock assessment that the agency dropped on the fishing world last week, suggesting that Gulf of Maine cod is in even more dire straits than thought.

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Federal fishing regulators are being pushed by a bipartisan lobby to reconsider closing Massachusetts Bay to lobstering from January to May, a move that would affect an area extending from Cape Ann’s southern coastline to Cape Cod’s northern shores.

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The recent announcement of federal disaster relief funds for Maine’s struggling groundfish fleet has generated a lot of talk about options and how best to provide maximum relief for our fishermen.

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On a recent weeklong cruise along the shores of southeast Alaska, the dining room menu included wild salmon, Dungeness crab and sablefish. Many of my fellow 63 passengers had neither heard of nor tasted sable.

No wonder: Almost all of this delectable, nutritious fish caught by Americans is exported, along with about one-third of all our wild catch. Instead, we dine on farmed seafood imported from countries like China, Thailand and Chile; 86 percent of the seafood we consume is imported.

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The statewide commercial salmon catch has topped 100 million fish.

Through Aug. 5, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, or ADFG, estimated that commercial fishermen had landed 104.7 million salmon, including 40.7 million sockeyes, 54 million pinks, 1.5 million cohos, 8 million chums and 401,000 kings.

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UMass Dartmouth marine scientists say they have documented a major increase in the scallop population on Georges Bank.

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PORTLAND, Maine — Federal regulators balked Thursday at a chance to set a new quota for Maine’s lucrative baby eel fishery.

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BISCAYNE NATIONAL PARK – One recent morning at Biscayne National Park, a biologist in scuba gear hovered near a reef, a waterproof clipboard and pencil at the ready to record fish swimming into view. Her pencil rarely moved. There just weren’t that many fish to count.

That kind of lackluster reef experience is partly why the National Park Service wants to phase out commercial fishing in the park, which is almost entirely comprised of the bay and reefs between downtown Miami, a waterfront nuclear power plant south of the city and the Gulf Stream. Ninety-five percent of the 172,000-acre park is under water, and its primary appeal to visitors is the opportunity to encounter marine life through snorkeling, diving or recreational fishing and boating.

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U.S. economic sanctions against Russia over Ukraine may wind up helping the Alaskan fishing industry.
 

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National Fisherman Live

National Fisherman Live: 8/14/14

In this episode:

  • More cod cuts expected if NOAA data holds
  • Louisiana importing oysters to meet demand
  • N.C. sets new sturgeon bycatch rules
  • BP appeals to Supreme Court on spill settlement
  • Senate releases new Magnuson-Stevens draft

National Fisherman Live: 8/5/14

In this episode, National Fisherman's Boats & Gear Editor Michael Crowley talks with Frances Parrott about the Notus Dredgemaster.

Inside the Industry

PORTLAND, Maine – The Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative has appointed Matt Jacobson as its new executive director.
 
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The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council will convene its Red Snapper Advisory Panel Wednesday, July 30, 2014, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the council office — 2203 N. Lois Avenue, Suite 1100, in Tampa, Fla. 

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